46 user 25 critic

School for Scoundrels (1960)

Approved | | Comedy | 24 March 1960 (UK)
A young man finds a very special school. It teaches him how to take advantage of people. He begins to put the lessons into operation.


Robert Hamer, Hal E. Chester (uncredited) | 1 more credit »


Stephen Potter (novels), Patricia Moyes (screenplay) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Ian Carmichael ... Henry Palfrey
Terry-Thomas ... Raymond Delauney
Alastair Sim ... Mr. S. Potter
Janette Scott ... April Smith
Dennis Price ... Dunstan
Peter Jones ... Dudley
Edward Chapman ... Gloatbridge
John Le Mesurier ... Head Waiter
Irene Handl ... Mrs. Stringer
Kynaston Reeves Kynaston Reeves ... General
Hattie Jacques ... 1st Instructress
Hugh Paddick Hugh Paddick ... Instructor
Barbara Roscoe ... 2nd Instructress
Gerald Campion Gerald Campion ... Proudfoot
Monte Landis Monte Landis ... Fleetsnod (as Monty Landis)


Based on the Stephen Potter "One Upmanship" and "Lifemanship" books, Henry Palfrey tries hard to impress but always loses out to the rotter Delauney. Then he discovers the Lifeman college run by "Professor" Potter and discovers the secrets of success. But has he the courage to put all his lessons into effect? Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Or how to win without actually cheating See more »




Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Much of it was shot by Cyril Frankel, as original director Robert Hamer, who was an alcoholic, kept showing up for work drunk. See more »


Ian Carmichael buys the car on the 21st May, postdating the scene in his office when the staff are listening in to a cricket test match, though the test match season did not start before early June. See more »


Mr. S. Potter: It doesn't matter. The flow has been interrupted.
See more »


Remade as School for Scoundrels (2006) See more »

User Reviews

Terry-Thomas at his caddish best!
17 June 2000 | by mcgoverngarrettSee all my reviews

I first saw this film about ten years ago and in that time I must have seen it two hundred times.It stands for everything great in British comedy.It tells the story of a young man who always seems to come a cropper in the lifeman stakes.He joins classes for one-upmanship and turns into an arrogant idiot.

Alastair Sim is at his lugrubious best.Terry-Thomas plays the bounder to a tee with some wonderful lines.If I have one gripe it's the casting of Ian Carmichael in the lead role.Leslie Philips would have been much better But that's a personal choice.

Now I'm off to watch it again for the two hundred and first time!

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Release Date:

24 March 1960 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

School for Scoundrels or How to Win Without Actually Cheating See more »

Filming Locations:

Lambeth, London, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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